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GAMING. EXCELLENTE NOUVELLE POUR LES RELATIONS FRANCE-ISRAËL. Une très belle opération, et des coopérations en perspective, est en route entre la France et Tel-Aviv.

La licorne française Voodoo (France) rachète le superbe studio de jeux Beach Bum (150 employés à Tel-Aviv). Beach Bum manage trois jeux dans l’App Store — Backgammon (Lord of the Board), Spades Royale et Gin Rummy Stars. Gigi Levy-Weiss (connu par la Chambre de Commerce Israël-France) est le General Partner de la VC Fund NFX et co-fondateur de Beach qui a ouvert ses portes en 2015.

Gigi Levy-Weiss (photo) est un homme d’affaires et un investisseur israélien. Il travaille principalement avec des sociétés Internet, de logiciels et de jeux. Il est actuellement impliqué dans diverses entreprises en démarrage, notamment SimilarWeb, Plarium, myThings, Hola, MyHeritage et Kenshoo. 

LE DEAL. L’éditeur français de jeux vidéo Voodoo (350 employés) a annoncé jeudi l’acquisition de Beach Bum, un développeur israélien de jeux pour appareils mobiles, afin de renforcer sa position sur le marché et de diversifier ses revenus.

Selon (1) : « Voodoo, qui a rejoint l’an dernier les rangs toujours plus fournis des « licornes » françaises, soit les start-up valorisées plus d’un milliard de dollars, après des investissements de Goldman Sachs et Tencent, n’a pas précisé le montant de la transaction. Il serait compris entre 250 et 300 millions de dollars (215,65 et 258,78 millions d’euros), rapporte le journal financier israélien Globes.

Beach Bum, qui a édité des jeux mobiles comme « Backgammon – Lord of the Board » et « Spades Royale », a généré un chiffre d’affaires d’environ 70 millions de dollars l’année dernière ».

(1) investir.lesechos.fr. Reportage Khadija Adda-Rezig et Sarah Morland.

LE PLUS. French startup Voodoo has made a significant acquisition in the casual mobile gaming market. The company is acquiring Beach Bum, a game studio based in Israel and specialized in tabletop and card games.

It’s hard to get a clear number for this acquisition as Voodoo is offering both cash and shares and there are some retention bonuses. According to a source, Voodoo could be paying a few hundred million dollars in total. Beach Bum has generated $70 million in revenue over the past 12 months, so that gives you an idea of the size of the deal.

Voodoo is better known for its hyper-casual games, such as Helix Jump, Crowd City, Hole.io or Paper.io 2. The company is both a game developer and publisher. It partners with other game studios and has built a tech stack to optimize distribution, average revenue per user and more.

The company has raised money from Tencent and Goldman Sachs. More recently, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert invested €266 million ($309 million at today’s exchange rate) in Voodoo. It values the company at €1.7 billion (nearly $2 billion).

Voodoo didn’t waste any time and started looking at acquisition targets for external growth opportunities right after raising some fresh capital. Right now, there are 350 people working for Voodoo. Beach Bum has 150 employees who will join Voodoo.

With today’s acquisition, Voodoo is expanding to a new segment, adding a handful of casual games to its hyper-casual catalog. Beach Bum currently has three games in the App Store — Backgammon (Lord of the Board), Spades Royale and Gin Rummy Stars.

The business model is also a bit different. Historically, Voodoo has mostly relied on advertising to monetize its games. Beach Bum focuses on in-app purchases instead. This way, the acquisition diversifies Voodoo’s revenue sources.

“[Beach Bum] has two more games in development right now. The intention of Voodoo is to use Beach Bum as their entrance into in-app purchases. So I think they’ll want Beach Bum to put out as many games as possible,” Gigi Levy-Weiss told me.

Gigi Levy-Weiss is a general partner at VC firm NFX and co-founded Beach Bum back in 2015. He doesn’t currently have an operational role at the gaming company but he is active chairman of the board.

« The Israeli gaming industry has grown significantly in the recent few years. To date, it counts 400 different companies. Few exits have taken place, mainly by European and Asian buyers. A few months ago, an Israeli gaming company Playtika IPOed at Nasdaq for the valuation of $11B, » Avihai Michaeli, a senior investment banker based in Tel Aviv, told me.

(ph.news.yahoo.com)

 

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